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Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

The Open Road: London filmed in colour, 1927

Between 1924 and 1926, Claude Friese-Greene filmed “The Open Road” — a documentary of the United Kingdom from Lands End to John O’ Groats. What’s most remarkable about this footage is that it’s shot in colour using a process called Friese-Greene Natural Colour, based on the Biocolour process originally developed by his father William.

This is an eleven-minute segment of that film, restored by the BFI, shot in London.

The Lost World Of Friese-Greene (2006) DVD at (via Boing Boing)

A first look at How to Train Your Dragon

How To Train Your Dragon

Dreamworks have released a teaser trailer for their forthcoming animated feature “How to Train Your Dragon” — although billed as if it’s from “the makers of Shrek and Kung Fu Panda” it’s no such thing!

Dragon is written and directed by Chris Sanders and Dean Deblois. These were the guys behind the unjustly overlooked and under-rated Lilo & Stitch (which, incidentally, is right up there on my list along with The Iron Giant — the other other under-rated animated movie.) and, yes, that’s the same Chris Sanders who may or may not have been booted off production of Disney’s Bolt (formerly American Dog), who then went to work at Dreamworks where he directed an animated adaptation of British novelist Cressida Cowell’s book, How to Train Your Dragon.

I may have written myself into a circle…

Those familiar with Sanders’ work will quickly recognise his hand. The trademark big eyes and stubby noses are there, although he appears to have made a decision not to include any Viking girls in bikinis. Maybe he’s saving those for the sequel.

How to Train Your Dragon will be in cinemas from March 26, 2010. (via Ward)

Toy Story 3: Full trailer released

Andy, Buzz and Woody in Toy Story 3

The first, highly anticipated, full trailer for Toy Story 3 has been released and is showing, in the US at least, before the Toy Story 3D double feature. It features a nice VHS-esque flashback of Andy’s childhood before he heads off to college, leaving Buzz, Woody and the rest of the toys behind.

(HD movie down, but it’s still on YouTube if you’re quick.) It’s back again.

It’s quite staggering how much CG animation has progressed over the past 14 years… For the re-release the original Toy Story was rendered 86,400 times more quickly than it could have been done in 1995.

Also good to see drooling babies stuffing toys in their orifices. I don’t think Pixar have done that since 1988’s Tin Toy!

Watch in HD.

Update: Disney have, unsurprisingly, pulled the trailer. It will be back again soon — probably after its official web-wide release.

Home movies at Disneyland, 1956

Jeff Altman, an assistant film colourist, has been restoring a bunch of his grandfather’s old 16mm home movies — including this absolute gem of a family vacation to Disneyland in 1956, a year after the park opened.

What’s amazing is not only the image quality, but that they managed to capture Walt Disney himself (shaking hands with Jeff’s grandmother, no less). Superb! (via The Disney Blog)

Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland trailer

Alice in Wonderland cheshire cat still

If you follow our Twitter stream you would have caught a sneaky glimpse of the new Alice in Wonderland teaser trailer the other day. It somehow managed to slip out onto the net before Disney meant it to and was quickly pulled.

For the patient (and for those that appreciate a nice big picture!) it is now available, following its unveiling at the San Deigo Comic-Con, in full HD at the Apple Trailers site.

Alice in Wonderland, directed by Tim Burton, will feature elements from both of Lewis Carroll’s Alice books, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and is scheduled for release on March 10th, 2010.

Tron Legacy test footage: Now in 3D

Still from the Tron Legacy test footage

Remember that blurry footage of the Tron sequel trailer from last year’s Comic-Con? Well, they showed it again this year — this time in 3D!

Technically it’s “test footage” and since then the movie has been given a name: Tron Legacy. The visuals are stunning enough to overshadow the fact it sounds a bit like a men’s aftershave.

Those visuals? No more squinting necessary! They’re up in various flavours on the viral site — including full HD Quicktime.

Tron Legacy high definition test footage

Set in 2010, Tron Legacy follows Sean Flynn, the son of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges, reprising his role) as he investigates the disappearance of his father. Bruce Boxleitner will also reprise his role as Tron. Tron Legacy is due to be released some time in 2010. (via the Tron Facebook fan page)

Lou Romano and the Art of “Up”

Up colour script artwork by Lou Romano

Up colour script artwork by Lou Romano

I’ve just been browsing Lou Romano’s production artwork that he did for Pixar’s “Up” again — specifically the colour script work that he did — and wondered why I hadn’t mentioned it here before!

Lou was a production designer on the movie and he’s posted dozens and dozens of pieces of artwork as well as some After Effects tests and dioramas.

Be sure to check out the rest of his blog too for more superb artwork, including stuff for The Incredibles and The Powerpuff Girls.

Lou’s work also features in Pixar’s Art of Up (US) book.

Life imitates Pixar: “Up” in Seattle

Edith Macefield's house, with balloons, in Ballard, Seattle

I thought this to be a delightful photo in its own right, but then I read the story behind the house. Long-time resident of Ballard, Seattle, Edith Macefield, refused to sell up as the land around her one hundred year-old property was radically developed — even when offered a million dollars.

Edith sadly passed away last year but, recently, dozens of coloured helium balloons were tied to her home to promote Pixar’s latest feature “Up”, a story of a man who refuses to give up his own home after his own wife passes away.

The art of the WALL·E end title sequence

WALL-E end titles

The Art of the Title Sequence interview end title sequence director Jim Capobianco and animator Alexander Woo about the end titles to Disney·Pixar’s WALL·E.

Jim Capobianco’s end credits to Andrew Stanton’s “WALL·E” are essential; they are the actual ending of the film, a perfect and fantastically optimistic conclusion to a grand, if imperfect idea. Humanity’s past and future evolution viewed through unspooling schools of art. Frame after frame sinks in as you smile self-consciously. It isn’t supposed to be this good but there it is. This is art in its own right. Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman’s song, “Down to Earth” indulges you with some incredibly thoughtful lyrics and, from the Stone Age to the Impressionists to the wonderful 8-bit pixel sprites, you are in the midst of something special.

More Alice in Wonderland concept art

Alice in Wonderland concept art: Alice

Back in March I posted some links to scans from Disney’s 23 magazine about Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland movie. USA Today has just published some more beautiful pieces of concept art from the film’s production.

Alice in Wonderland concept art: The White Rabbit

Alice in Wonderland concept art: Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee

Also making a first appearance today are images of the Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as The Queen of Hearts, Anne Hathaway as The White Queen and Matt Lucas as both Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee.

Alice in Wonderland will be released on the 5th March, 2010 in the US and on the 12th in the UK.